A chemical plant owned by the federal government violated OSHA’s process safety management (PSM) standard in multiple ways! If it was a privately owned business the facility would be paying more than a million dollars in fines, but instead it gets off with just having to correct its violations.
What happened: The Cliffside Helium Enrichment Unit, Amarillo,
Texas, owned and operated by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), is a federal chemical producing plant that refines and sells helium products to private entities. OSHA investigated the facility after receiving multiple complaints about a lack of chemical and facility safety measures.
Result: BLM violated the PSM standard by failing to:
• inspect equipment
• train workers on energy control programs
• include relief system designs in process safety information
• include consequences of deviations from process operating limits in its operating procedures, and
• establish written procedures to maintain ongoing integrity of operating procedures.